Thanks for the comments. Wow mouser, your post count is bigger than mine is on the Opus forums.
Fair points about the pricing etc. I'm not an economist or businessman so I don't know what the right answer is (if there is one!). I agree that price, and things like optional extras and free-update windows, have a psychological effect that can outweigh or pre-empt other factors.
If you use even a small percentage of its features then I think Opus is more than worth the price but it can be difficult to know how much you'll get out of a program before you use it and if you're put off by the price so much that you don't even test-drive the 60-day trial then you'll never find out. Even if the price of something is completely fair for what you get, if people don't try it then they won't realise how much value they'd get for their money.
It's a balancing act of pricing and of marketing/promotion. It's really difficult to explain what Opus does and what makes it special. It's the the sum of lots and lots of small things that don't matter much on their own.
KenR and patteo both said it well. The massive bullet point is configurability and that's hard to explain (if it's even a word
). I could say to someone, "Opus is great because it allowed me to create a button that runs a tool that embeds folder.jpg from the same folder into the WMA files I had selected", and they'd probably think, "WMA album covers? I don't care about that, it's not worth the money!" The point isn't that it could do that particular thing but that it allowed me to do what I wanted and will probably allow them to do what they want, whatever that is.
The difficulties I had explaining the benefits of Opus prompted me to write my introduction to Opus
a while back. I wanted to list out some of "the little things that add up to something big" and to give a few examples of what I made Opus do for myself in the hope it would help people understand what Opus can do for them. I don't know how successful I was but at least now I can paste the URL into conversations instead of fumbling with words.
Many people don't seem to "get" configurability. They see a screenshot of a program and think that's it. "It's got too many buttons." But you can remove them. "That cat picture (at the bottom of the first page) is ridiculous!" I know, it's meant to be!
It seems to me that most people, at least on Windows, are used to letting the tools they use dictate how they get things done. Most programs aren't very configurable so people aren't used to saying "F*** this, I'm sick of seeing this dialog all the time!" or "I do this thing every day and it takes five mouse clicks, why can't I do it in one click or via a hotkey?" or "Why are all these stupid programs that I never use on my context menus in the way of the things I do use?"
Opus is the kind of program that you can adapt to solve problems like that but I don't think many people realise problems like that are there. They accept "it's how things work" and don't wish they could change things, so when the odd program like Opus comes along they don't see how it's useful. Opus lets you customise just about everything to your personal needs and that requires something that I don't think people are used to using: imagination about how they could use their computer better. Of course, it also requires the investment of time and energy towards tweaking things but if you're a geek like me then that's often a pleasure in itself. (I seem to spend half my time tweaking my computer so it's easier to tweak my computer.
Comparing the two is like debating whether or not chocolate or vanilla ice cream is better. They're both delicious.
I guess the only other thing I can ask for is maybe GP can give an *extra* discount for Donationcoder users for the upgrade?
I hope GPsoft takes this into account and gives us another nice discount!
I don't know what GPSoft's plans are but I'll mention it to them.
if I have to install 8 to make 9 work
You won't have to install Opus 8 first. You'll get a new licence code that unlocks Opus 9 directly. At least, that's how it worked from 6 to 8.
Don't worry, I would go on strike and post the longest whine in the history of the Internet if GPSoftware ever made the update/install process force you to install the previous version in order to install the update.
(Installing CyberLink PowerDVD, for example, drives me f***ing nuts. Every time I reinstall Windows or switch PCs I have to faff about installing the first version of PowerDVD I ever bought and then installing every update since then in sequence, each with a different licence code, because the PowerDVD installers refuse to install with an update licence code unless they can see the previous version, even though the installer contains the full set of program files. It's so painfully stupid. I could understand them asking me to type in my old licence code to prove I'm entitled to an update (although didn't I do that on their website in order to get the update code?!) but actually having to install the old versions, one by one? WTF. It'll never happen with Opus. Not on my watch!)
How are the upgrades going to work? More or less we'll get a new key and the old key will no longer work, right?
Technically, if you buy an update to Opus 9 then, as far as I know, your old Opus 8 key will continue to work with Opus 8. Of course, legally, you wouldn't be allowed to have Opus 8 installed on one machine and Opus 9 on another using the two licences (unless you had a two-machine licence) since you've bought an update and not a second copy. But if you needed to go back to Opus 8 for some reason then I don't think anything would stop you doing that.
About the whole "Bread Crumb" thing... yeah, I thought it looked like MS stole that feature from DO, and improved it.
On a slightly related note, it's great to see that Explorer in Vista selects the filename, minus the extension part, when you press F2 to rename something. Just like Opus always did (by default). I don't know if MS got the idea from Opus and I don't really care; I'm just glad they added it to Explorer so I don't get irritated every time I rename a file on my Desktop!
Btw, it's really not neccessary to register again just to support me! You should better spend this money to support the victims of the Tsunami flood, or the hunger in Africa...
Respect to that. Every so often the mIRC guy donates a month's registrations to charity, too. He's donated a fair amount. It surprised me how much actually. Something like $30,000 for a month of registrations which is a lot of people buying mIRC, but I guess a lot of people use mIRC and at least some of those registrations will be people who are buying it again just to donate.
I just want to uppercut every time I see that. (I hope this refrence isn't lost on everyone here!)
Is that a Mortal Kombat reference? That had a face that appeared on the screen sometimes, right? I'm rubbish at those Beat 'Em Ups, pretty much anything post-IK+, where the control systems turned into a case of weird input sequences that you had to work out and memorise. I managed to get to grips with Ninja Gaiden (the newer Xbox one) and God of War but the one-on-one two-player games make me throw the controller at the wall in frustration. Actually, Ninja Gaiden did too at first, but that game really rewards perseverance!
Your reference probably had nothing to do with beat 'em ups and now I've started a weird tangent, haha.
Actually, XY is now taking me 16mb of mem, thus, if it'd behave in my computer as it does in yours, you're right, DOpus would take less.
Probably not less, to be fair to XY, but a similar amount. Coincidentally, as I type this my Opus is using just under 16MB (15,692K) as well. Depends what I'm doing, of course, as it would in XY too.
I'd like some brown sauce with my crow, please, and a pint.
:-) Thanks for taking the time to compare the two. I'm not sure where the impression that Opus uses lots of memory and/or is slow comes from but it's one of those things that people seem to think and repeat without really checking it out. When examined it doesn't turn out to be true. If Opus is using a lot of memory or running slowly then it's probably because of a 3rd party thing that Opus is hooking into.
For example, Opus relies on the video codecs installed on the computer to make thumbnails of movies and to get information out of them to display in its columns (e.g. dimensions and length of time). Unfortunately, a lot of video codecs are full of bugs for some reason. (Dunno what it is about people who write video codecs!) If a codec goes into a 100% CPU loop or leaks memory all over the place then it's dopus.exe that gets the blame in Task Manager since the codec DLL is loaded into the Opus process. If you see that happen and don't know any better then it's easy to think Opus is buggy.
I think it's a lot like reports of Firefox being unstable. They usually turn out to be due to extensions, not the program itself. That's the risk of hooking into other people's components.
Another thing I remember is when someone posted some timings which appeared to show that Opus copied files significantly slower than Explorer. The timings sure looked bad but after some investigation Opus was exonerated. It turned out to be two things:
First, the tester was copying thousands of small files and in Opus the options to preserve timestamps and attributes when copying files were turned on. Explorer doesn't preserve those things (or maybe it does one but not the other? I'm not sure right now) but Opus does, by default, since it's nice to do so and it normally takes a negligible amount of time (i.e. milliseconds). When copying a huge number of small files, though, that per-file overhead adds up and takes up as much time as copying the files themselves. It didn't add up to a hell of a lot, as I remember, but it still made Opus appear to be slower than Explorer, which was bad. I turned off two checkboxes and the time to copy the same files in Opus and Explorer became so close that I couldn't call a winner. (The time fluctuates, of course, but I did several copies and averaged the results.)
Second, and much more importantly, the person who did the original timings hadn't done a fair test at all. They copied the files in Opus and then copied the same files in Explorer without doing anything in between. Since the filesystem caches data Explorer had a massive advantage since Opus, before it, had caused all the files to be cached. Opus was reading files from disk while Explorer was reading them straight out of RAM. Test the two in the opposite order and Opus appeared much faster than Explorer. By doing a fair test, where I made sure the filesystem cache was filled with other data between copies, I found that the two programs were really the same speed.
Doing all those tests, copying files over and over again with different combinations of options, was really tedious but I wanted to work out if the results the user posted were valid. If they were then I'm sure GPSoft would have fixed the problem but, happily, it turned out there was no problem to fix.